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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday “well advised” India to “desist from casting fallacious aspersions on the Kartarpur Corridor which was a gift by the government of Pakistan to the Sikh community, and instead focus on taking meaningful steps to effectively protect its own religious minorities and ensure the safety of their lives and places of worship.”

“Pakistan categorically rejects the malicious Indian propaganda regarding the alleged use of the Kartarpur Corridor for business meetings,” said a statement issued by Foreign Office.

The grim rejoinder came to the reports that India on Thursday raised security concerns about the “anti-India activities underway at the Kartarpur Corridor along the borders of India and Pakistan.”

Sections of Indian media cited India’s intelligence agencies as having reported that Pakistan was misusing the corridor to interact with Indian pilgrims and cultivate contacts with them.

Pakistan’s FO statement responded, “It is obvious that this concoction is part of India’s deliberate smear campaign seeking to undermine Pakistan’s historic initiative of opening the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world.”

Pakistan rejects unwarranted reference in India-US statement

It said there is nothing new about India’s desperate bid to malign the “Corridor of Peace” and divert the world’s attention away from the grave injustices being done to its own minorities, “especially Muslims, who are being targeted with impunity by Hindu zealots in utter disregard of all tenets of law and justice.”

“Pakistan accords the highest primacy to the rights of the minorities. Sanctity of religious places and revered sites of every community is ensured in Pakistan,” the statement added.

Just recently, it recalled, Pakistan hosted over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims from India alone who were here to participate in the annual Baisakhi festival held from April 12-21. Elaborate arrangements were put in place to facilitate the visiting pilgrims to pay homage at their holy religious sites, the FO said, adding that the Sikh community around the world has remained appreciative of Pakistan’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and promotion of religious harmony.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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